As I write this, The Dig has just finished their showcases at SXSW Southwest Invasion in Austin, TX and are on the road toward Phoenix for the next stop on their tour. They’re playing Valley Bar on March 17, 2017. I had a chance to chat with guitarist/keyboard player, Erick Eiser about the new album, Bloodshot Tokyo, and what careers the guys might have had they never made the music scene.
BW: How was today’s set at SXSW? Had you ever performed there before?
EE: It was amazing. It was on the roof of Whole Foods, a pretty amazing outdoor showcase, it was a lot of fun. We’ve performed there before, it’s always a little bit chaotic, but this year was by far the best experience we’ve had. We saw a couple of friends and then tried to get as much sleep as we could since we’re back on the road.
BW: What’s been the response so far to playing the new album live?
EE: We’ve noticed much more on this album early in the release that more people, especially young people, are singing the words to the music which feels really good. It’s been exciting!
BW: You’ve garnered a pretty loyal “under the radar” fan base thus far. I saw a comment online that asked: “Why aren’t these guys famous yet? What is wrong with people?” (EE laughs) Do you like being under the radar, or does the band have radio dreams?
EE: I think we’re not really focused on things we can’t control. The fans that come out are diehards and our music really resonates with those people and that’s amazing for us. We’re just focused on writing and becoming better musicians, having each album be better than the last. We want to release albums the right way. We have a great team of people working with us that are trying to get the music exposed, but beyond that, we can’t control it. We’re happy, but of course we’d like as many people as possible to get into the music. We’re psyched about the album and what we’re doing now.
BW: The sound is going toward the P-Funk/George Clinton era with synthesizers I noticed….
EE: Yea! That’s definitely a major aesthetic that we’re attached to. We all had different things we were tapping into as songwriters, our own era of time or style and all combined together, that was definitely one of the ones we referenced.
BW: I read that Anderson Paak is on your dream collaboration list. What would that project potentially look like blending those styles?
EE: Well he’s someone we’ve been listening to recently, but obviously anyone we respect musically or are taken by in respect to their art form would be amazing to collaborate with. I think those things get figured out when you start the process with someone, but I can only speculate it would be an awesome experience!
BW: What is the creative process like internally for you as a band? Is it always organic?
EE: It happens in all sorts of ways…. someone jamming by themselves and coming up with a loop or sample, or maybe they have lyrics and someone has music. Sometimes it all comes out at once, or two people sit and create through acoustic guitar together. On this record, we tried our hand at sampling, loops, and then writing songs over that which was fun.
BW: Does that always lead to inspiration for music videos? Simple Love and You & I- Cold Afternoon had great commentary. How does that blend into the creative process?
EE: For the most part, it comes after the song itself. The newest video, Simple Love was an idea that’s more our personalities. We first started down that road when we put out a video for Made My Bed. We all dressed up in drag and we liked the idea of our sense of humor coming out and all having alter egos. We thought that was fun. We tried to do the same thing with Simple Love. We have a little bit of that inside humor that we try to make everyone who is into our band….we try to let them into that humor.
BW: Knowing you all have these distinct characters, if you had to pick the career choices for the band what would everyone be?
EE: Oh man, that’s a tough question….gees…I have no idea…let’s see…I think Baldy (David) would be a chef, Emile would be a masseuse, Mark would be a hairdressing karate instructor, and I would probably be a bodybuilder. I would be a male model/bodybuilder/actor sort of guy….off the top of my head.
BW: What about the rumors of the black wigs on tour for the song Jet Black Hair? I know that can get costly. What if you could get the fan base involved via social media?
EE: That’s a great idea, maybe we’ll tweet it out and see what happens. Excellent idea.
Catch The Dig tomorrow at Valley Bar in Phoenix, AZ (TICKETS HERE) and be prepared to become a diehard fan.
The rest of tour dates are:
2/22: New Haven, CT @ Bar
2/23: Boston, MA @ Great Scott^
2/25: New York, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg+
2/28: Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground^
3/1: Montreal, QC @ Quai Des Brumes^
3/2: Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar^
3/3: Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy^
3/4: Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit^
3/5: Washington, DC @ Black Cat^
3/7: Durham, NC @ Pinhook^
3/8: Charlotte, NC @ Evening Muse^
3/9: Savannah, GA @ Savannah Stopover
3/10: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade Purgatory^
3/12-3/15: Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/17: Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar#
3/18: Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo*
3/20: San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel*
3/22: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge*
3/23: Seattle, WA @ The Sunset*
3/24: Bend, OR @ Volcanic Theatre*
3/25: Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Festival
3/26: Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court#
3/27: Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge#
3/29: Ames, IA @ Iowa State University#
3/30: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry#
3/31: Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall#
4/1: Chicago, IL @ Schubas#